Peaks and valleys amidst mountains of need: BRCiS' drought response and vision for climate resilience in Somalia by Jennifer Spencer

The 2022-23 drought in the Horn of Africa has caused devastating, irreversible damage to families and communities, as well as the urban centres and natural ecosystems that are meant to support them.

In the accessible areas of Somalia alone, over seven million people are affected, including more than one million displaced from their homes. In the many insecure, inaccessible areas, the situations are likely to be even worse, though concrete data from these areas is limited. With child malnutrition rates skyrocketing, the drought is costing lives every day.

This data story, published in January 2023 and referencing data from August 2022, draws together data from a recent evaluation, case studies, and learning insights to share how the drought impacted families, how BRCiS responded to help meet their needs, where the humanitarian system went wrong, and what can be done to maintain hope and chart a way out of the crisis.

Under the guidance of the BRCiS Consortium, the Untethered Impact team conducted the Phase II drought evaluation based on multiple rounds of field data collected by BRCiS, developed interactive graphics in Flourish and infographics in Canva, crafted the narrative and text, and pulled all the pieces together into the Shorthand story. We worked closely with several members of the BRCiS team, who collected the primary data, provided insight into the complexity and nuances of their interventions, helped us integrate the evaluation findings within the context of their broader programming vision, and provided incredible, high-quality media assets.

Most monitoring and evaluation in the humanitarian and development sectors is written up and published in reports -- often very long reports, with hundred-page annexes of tables. While there has been significant progress using visualization to make these outputs more readable, data stories like this bridge the gap between M&E, communications, and programming teams -- often fairly siloed departments, opening up the possibility of sharing evaluation results with a wider audience, in a more engaging and interactive way, and with more context, intention, and vision.

[Please note, we had difficulty uploading the screen capture for our video screen capture. Please reach out so we can share it via another method.]